When will the next fatality happen at Lyttelton, Port of Christchurch?


I don’t know when, but this is a dreadful picture. The incident happened at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch on Saturday 4th January, 2014. It was a near miss to a fatal injury – the driver is lucky to be alive and was reported to be taken to hospital. Let’s hope that their injuries are minor.

The near miss is more evidence, on top of the two recent fatalities, that the port is not providing a safe work environment. It’s a situation that needs serious intervention before the next tragedy, which can clearly happen at any time.

Something needs to change, and now. Two fatalities and this incident are well beyond any normal signalling required for a site to recognise it is in crisis and for major change to occur.


As a postscript – the person just visible in the bottom right of the picture is not wearing gloves, nor hardhat and has their sunglasses (protective perhaps) on their hat, but not covering their eyes. They also look to be quite close to the incident, and if there is anything flammable being emitted then they are using a device (iPhone) that is not intrinsically safe and could cause a spark. I would argue that none of this would be acceptable on a true Zero Harm oriented site.

Published by Lance Wiggs


One reply on “When will the next fatality happen at Lyttelton, Port of Christchurch?”

  1. I doubt if gloves or a hard hat would actually reduce risk of harm in this case (a high viz jacket would make it easier to see him though). I’d be more concerned with poor stacking of the 6-high container in the background, and the fact that the photo appears to be taken from underneath another container (No idea how it is being held up, it could be perfectly safe…). The incident site certainly hasn’t been “secured” pending any investigation.

    In my experience, a lot of knee-jerk safety practices are not about actual safety, rather about the appearance of safety and the ability to say that “safety was important” when bad things happen. Management and Staff (and unions) need the right attitudes about safety to actually improve workplace safety.


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